Dwarf planet has a ring to it: study
Move over Saturn! Scientists have found a ring around an unassuming mini-planet in our Solar System to debunk the theory that only giant planets can be so adorned.
The planet, dubbed Haumea, orbits the Sun far beyond Neptune -- the eighth and furthest recognised "full" planet in our star system since Pluto was downgraded to dwarf status in 2006.
About eight billion kilometres (five billion miles) from the Sun, Haumea spins rapidly on its own axis, and has a flattened, cigar-like shape.
It takes 285 years to circle the Sun.
Named after the Hawaiian goddess of childbirth, it is among a handful of known dwarf planets beyond the orbit of Neptune, which with the other so-called giant planets -- Saturn, Uranus and Jupiter -- all have rings.
"Our discovery proves that there is a lot more diversity and imagination in our solar system than we had thought," study co-author Bruno Sicardy of the Paris Observatory told AFP.
The findings were published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
A ring system had previously been discovered around a centaur dubbed Chariklo. Centaurs, which have unstable orbits, are considered large comets, not planets, which means this is the first observation of a ring around a dwarf planet.
The new discovery came when Sicardy and a team predicted that Haumea would cross in front of a specific star, from Earth's perspective, on January 21 this year.
They trained 12 telescopes at 10 different laboratories on the spot, and were able to measure many of the physical characteristics of the little-known planet discovered in 2004.
Scientists can infer much about a planet's density and size by how much light it blocks out as it moves in front of a star.
In Haumea's case, they found it sported a dense, Saturn-like ring some 70 kilometres wide, made of frozen particles.
The planet has two moons.
- Death of Jacintha Peiris
- Renovation work on golden canopy begins
- Poverty down to 4.1% But highest in the North
- MR to preside at SLPP rallies
- Prelates decrying new Constitution Govt to blame says Mano
- New office to assist Uma Oya affected
- Importance of Tourism stressed Dengue threat lgnored
- Indian soldier revisits a brutal battlefield
- Large crowd at Berlin Katina Pooja
- PC polls campaigns Nimal, John lead SLFP team
- ‘Savisthri’ report handed over to Sampanthan
- Nimal warns Railway unions Strict action against strikers
- Attack on Rohingya refugee shelter Police trap monk in Nittambuwa
- Call to extend PCoI term VAC wants to unmask 20 UNPers
- K’Nochchi poorest, at Rs 28,483 Household expenses increase to Rs 62,237 pm Rich spend Rs 158,072 pm per household
- Don’t be misled on new Constitution – President
- PM presents economic policy to Parliament Govt targets private sector involvement
- One Final Offer From the EU to the UK
- Anti-Dumping Bill Gazetted Protection for Local Industries
- Tourism Statistics SLTDA disputes CCC
- Smugglers detained at BIA
- SI injured during hooch raid Falls from third floor balcony
- 1070 traffic fatalities in 2017 121 murders during same period - Police
- Rattota Police OIC suspended
- Technical error in Diversity Visa Programme DV-2019 US Embassy says re-register
- Sri Lanka crumble again, 173 All Out
- De Villiers, Hasan Ali move to top of ODI rankings
- Resurgent Zimbabwe face rising West Indies
- ‘Singer Cup’ U-19 Cricket Hasintha gets ton
- SLCA shows concern for players’ safety
- WI keep SL to 69 to take 1-0 lead
- Trinitians roar to regain Lanka Lions Rugby Sevens title Dilshan Kelaniyangoda named Player of the Tournament
- Hafeez reported for suspect bowling action
- MAS win swimming crown for seventh year
- Kiwis out to tame India's newest spin duo
- Root must 'con' players into Ashes mindset - Vaughan
- Improved Wallabies ready for All Blacks tilt - Hooper
- Waidyathilake quits from ITO officiating
- Troubled Chelsea fight to boost flagging morale
- Pogba on comeback trail for injury-hit Man Utd
- Neymar, Mbappe primed for PSG-Marseille rivalry
- Sadeera’s inclusion will strengthen batting Sri Lanka face uphill task
- Anika into semis in Singapore
- ‘Singer Cup’ U-19 Schools Cricket 15-year-old Pawan scores century
- Sheoran takes Sri Lanka Golf title in thriller
- This simple investment strategy could protect you if the US stock market cracks
- Google’s parent company leads $1 billion investment in Lyft
- Nissan halts production in Japan
- These airline stocks have doubled while rivals go bust
- China's answer to Groupon and Yelp is now worth $30B
- Goldman Sachs Chief Lloyd Blankfein hints at Frankfurt move
- Amazon: More than 100 cities bid for new headquarters
- End of Australia auto-making sector as Holden closes doors
- May pleads for Brexit deal she can sell at home
- Black Monday 1987: ‘Our jaws hit the desk’
- Sustainability a priority for Port City Project
- National Chamber hosts Iranian Ambassador
- Fair demand for Ceylon Tea from Japan, China
- China third quarter growth meets expectations at 6.8%
- The rise of consumerism Thorstein Veblen’s conspicuous consumption now a global phenomenon
- HNB announces seasonal discounts
- Janashakthi takes home Gold at Effie Awards
- Standard Chartered running seasonal promo
- Dialog launches first TIER III Certified Data Centre in Sri Lanka
- CSE to add dollar-denominated board
- Concentrated wisdom Learning from others
- lateral thinking Nation’s guardians celebrate 68th Anniversary
- A Time of Gifts Starting to wind down
- The month of ‘Katina Pinkama’
- OVERWHELMING RESPONSE HUMANITY AT ITS BEST
- Fall of Raqqa
- UN urges B’desh to move Rohingya refugees
- Flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in the history of the world
- Sucking it up
- Ahikuntika community of Sri Lanka Diminishing cultural traits
- No Revenge I want to embrace all those who left us – Basil Rajapaksa
- Large Industrial Zone for Thulhiriya
- Even the PM should be in Prison for the frauds
- UNHRC Resolution 30/1 Implications for Sri Lanka (Part II) (Based on a presentation to the OPA)
- Electoral Reforms are for People’s Benefit
- Managing perception with international community
- Salient points of horoscope Assessment
- KARMIC CONNECTIONS IN THE BIRTH CHARTS 2
- Dream of travelling abroad?
- Mystery behind Osama bin Laden explained
- Three poses to relieve trauma
- Socio-economic developments from critical perspective
- KAZUO ISHIGURO – THE NEW NOBEL LAUREATE
- The Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2018 –Internationally acclaimed authors to take part
- Portrayal of country and nature
- Resonant Field Imaging - a Marvel in Technology
- Shankar’s International Children’s Competition 2018
- Kite Surfing Lanka Kalpitiya An experience of a lifetime
- Ella and mini Adam’s Peak
- A cave of history -Ravana Cave
- Making plus-sized clothing trendy
- Pyjamas go viral as well - Sharmila Srikumar
- Giving back to Society
- Double treat at Pinnawala
- Mental illness a health issue Replacing stigma with compassion
- Studying to be ahead